Roles Category


Kindness Too

Kindness Too

A yellow light on my dashboard caught my attention; it was the flat tire indicator. I checked the air pressure in each tire and inflated all four to the appropriate psi. Even after driving around, the light remained on. I re-checked and the tires appeared to be maintaining their air pressure. I did consider putting a piece of duct tape over the indicator light, but thought better of it.

Instead, I took my truck to a locally owned automotive repair shop. The extraordinary kindness of the employees was immediately evident. Everyone went out of their way to be helpful; and I said as much to the clerk when I paid my bill.

She said “it all boils down to treating people the way you want to be treated.”

The apostle Paul lists kindness as one of the “fruit of the Spirit” to the church in Galatia.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self-control. Nothing in the Torah stands against such things. Galatians 5:22-23 Complete Jewish Bible

As I contemplated these attributes, I wondered if there is a reason for the sequence of the “fruit?” Is one trait more important than another? I found one article on-line to suggest that yes, from the beginning of the list to the end, one quality grows into the next. I’m not totally convinced that is true—they all seem equally important to me.

However, the longer I examined the list the more intrigued I became with how the attribute of kindness is smack dab in the middle of the nine. Moving forwards and backwards in the list, kindness is fifth—fifth from the beginning and fifth from the end—as if kindness is the pinnacle, the acme, the vertex of the fruit of the Spirit.

I even checked ten or so other translations to see if the arrangement changed in any way. Aside from a few paraphrased translations and the use of various synonyms in others, kindness remained rooted in the middle.

A little more research yielded the following information about the number five:

The number 5 symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans … Five is the number of Grace, and multiplied by itself, which is 25, is ‘grace upon grace’ (John 1:16) … The God’s law consists of five books, which are called Pentateuch. The New Testament Pentateuch consists of the 4 gospels and the book of Acts, which can be considered God’s grace and favor to the humankind. (biblestudy.org)

Ceramicist and author, Rupert Spira says “… I consider kindness one of the highest virtues … what we do to another, we literally do to ourselves …”

Kindness, it seems, is the beacon of hope; a light necessary to heal a year filled with the darkness of immeasurable and unrelenting grief and pain, seemingly insurmountable hatred and divisiveness, and incalculable suffering and need.

Kindness … let your light so shine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuGsv2Epquo&t=72s

Prayer Two

Prayer Two

Mr. President,

Where are you?

In the past when our nation was in crisis and turmoil, sitting presidents gave stirring speeches meant to unite our nation. They evoked compassion and grit, and sought to comfort us in our troubles, and fill us with hope.

Consider George W. Bush’s “Bullhorn Speech” given at Ground Zero after the terrorist attack of 9/11. What about John F. Kennedy’s inauguration speech delivered during the Cold War with Russia? Yesterday’s historic SpaceX launch is a direct result of his inspirational words.

You are too young to remember the fireside chats Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered between 1933 and 1944 when our nation was struggling through the Great Depression and WWII. My 91-year-young father remembers! He vividly recalls sitting in front of the radio listening intently to President Roosevelt deliver words of condolence and consolation.

Finally, I dare say no words of a presidential speech are more hallowed than Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Words that ring true now more than ever!

I have read your tweets and Facebook posts. Almost always you seem to choose words that incite hate, violence and division. Your re-election ads on television embrace a self-centered campaign rhetoric espousing only your own ego as the man who does things his way.

. . . “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom  . . .  and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” . . . is NOT about you! Being president is about being in service to the people, NOT to your wallet!

Your words, “I’m not a schmuck. Even if the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, I won’t lose a penny.”, do not sound like someone who is donating his presidential salary. Considering the world’s current circumstances, you would realize you sound almost prophetic–that is if you were capable of even the slightest bit of insight, which clearly you are not.

So, I ask again, where are you? Are you really that out of touch with what is happening all around you?

Yes, I am still praying . . .

. . . for your heart to be softened and for you to control your tongue.

James 3: 5-6 says:

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell.

. . . for the families and loved ones of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and all those grieving to feel the warmth of love and peace being sent their way.

. . . for those people refusing to distance or wear masks—that the eyes of their hearts will be open to the pain and grief being endured by so many who have lost loved ones due to Covid-19; that they will see wearing a mask as truly THE MOST loving, kind, and humane act of compassion and protection for their fellow human beings.

. . . and for our nation, that we may awaken in healing and wholeness together.

With all due respect to the office you presently hold,

Susan Fridinger

 

I Am

I Am

No worries, roles or constraints;
Perceived labels, none.
Being who I am meant to be,
Living as I am intended to live.
Without quotation marks I am.

Resurrection

Resurrection

After five years of trying and multiple miscarriages, a daughter was born to a young couple. Her great-grandfather referred to her as “the most wanted baby” when he received the news of the birth of his twenty-second great grandchild.

The new parents continued to try to have other children, with little success until three years later when another daughter was conceived. However, things did not go well. With a due date of February 14, 1962, she died in utero sometime before Christmas of ’61. They were devastated.

The doctor advised them to wait for the situation to resolve itself naturally; the distressed husband, concerned for his wife, did not want to wait.

With heavy hearts, they endured the stillbirth; the expectant mother never giving up hope that the child within was still alive.

After fighting cancer, many years later, the beloved mother died. The only daughter, now grown, was going through her mother’s papers and found a small note written in her mother’s familiar handwriting.

“Sarah Marie, you have a wonderful daddy and sweet little sister who love you very much. Even though I didn’t get to see you, I love you.”

John 11:25-26, Yeshua said to her, “I AM the Resurrection and the Life! Whoever puts his trust in me will live, even if he dies; and everyone living and trusting in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

She did.

I do.

 

Letting Go

Letting Go

When you were born, I welcomed you
with a kiss on the forehead and a hug hello.
We sang and read and talked and rhymed,
“this little piggy” and a kiss on the toe.
We played and giggled and tickled and laughed
with a kiss on the tummy and a prrrrp.
Along the way there were bumps and scrapes and scratches and fevers
and even a kiss on a bruised elbow.
Requests for tatoos and piercings, dyed hair;
I kissed you on the hand and just said, “Oh?”
There were times of great joy and arguments too;
I kissed you on the cheek and felt like your foe.
Behind the wheel of a car you jumped,
I blew you a kiss and wearily sighed, “Whoa!”
You’re out the door and on your own;
I long to kiss you on the forehead as I let you go.